Behnaz Farahi

Synapse is a 3D-printed helmet which moves and illuminates according to brain activity[…] The main intention of this project is to explore the possibilities of multi-material 3D printing in order to produce a shape-changing structure around the body as a second skin. Additionally, the project seeks to explore direct control of the movement with neural commands from the brain so that we can effectively control the environment around us through our thoughts. The environment therefore becomes an extension of our bodies. This project aims to play with the intimacy of our bodies and the environment to the point that the distinction between them becomes blurred, as both have ‘become’ a single entity. The helmet motion is controlled by the Eletroencephalography (EEG) of the brain. A Neurosky’s EEG chip and Mindflex headset have been modified and redesigned in order to create a seamless blend between technology and design.


Silent Barrage

Silent Barrage has a “biological brain” that telematically connects with its “body” in a way that is familiar to humans: the brain processes sense data that it receives, and then brain and body formulate expressions through movement and mark making. But this familiarity is hidden within a sophisticated conceptual and scientific framework that is gradually decoded by the viewer. The brain consists of a neural network of embryonic rat neurons, growing in a Petri dish in a lab in Atlanta, Georgia, which exhibits the uncontrolled activity of nerve tissue that is typical of cultured nerve cells. This neural network is connected to neural interfacing electrodes that write to and read from the neurons. The thirty-six robotic pole-shaped objects of the body, meanwhile, live in whatever exhibition space is their temporary home. They have sensors that detect the presence of viewers who come in. It is from this environment that data is transmitted over the Internet, to be read by the electrodes and thus to stimulate, train or calm parts of the brain, depending on which area of the neuronal net has been addressed.


Elucidating Feedback
File Festival

The more we look, the more we see, the more we see the more we look. “Elucidating feedback” is a brain-controlled installation about the creativity inherent in the act of observation. The more attention that is paid to the installation, the more order is reflected in the video and audio. The idea is that we create the finer details of our experience through the act of being attentive. The more we observe our environment, the more we discover, and the result of this active process is the creation of the rich details of our experience. The project uses neuro feedback supplied through interaction between the user and a BCI (brain-computer interface) device. The mindset (the BCI device) reads your brainwaves and this alters how the installation creates form from static. The more attention is paid, the more pattern is formed; as less attention is paid, the pattern breaks back into static. This is intended to form a feedback loop between the user’s attention and the subject of their attention (the projected patterns). The audio-visual aspect of the installation produces pattern, order and detail in direct proportion to the attention that the user is currently paying. If the user is in a state where the mind is freely wandering and not focused on any one thing, the patterns decay into static, bringing the installation back to a state of stasis.